Friday, April 29, 2011

Save your Gracious

'Send her Victoria's (Victoria's what?)
Happy and Gloria's. (is that neighbour Gloria Earl? What has Gloria Earl got to do with it?)

God save the Queen never made much sense to me until later in life when I understood the words properly. At primary school we sang it often. I don't know why. We just did it when we were told. Myself and my class mates intentionally or not, made it as flat and dirge like as possible. We went through motions with no understanding of who she really was or what we were singing.

We saluted the flag and we reverently put it up or down and folded it correctly.

At the end of a movie in a picture theatre, God save the Queen would be played. At the end of every public dance in a hall it would be played. It seemed every formal or semi formal social occasion would find us standing silently as it was played. It was played when television stations shut down for the night.

Her framed image was in every public building, often yellowed, fly dirt spotted, askewly hung, but there and omnipresent.

She is still on the reverse side of our coins.

I get involuntary muscle twitches in my legs when I hear God Save the Queen. My legs have received a signal from my brain, prepare to stand.

I think I heard ex PM Bob Hawke say how embarrassed he was when God Save the Queen was played at the Montreal Olympics when an Australian competitor won a medal. He was determined to change it.

And so now we have the not so brilliant Advance Australia Fair where we live girt by sea. I stand for that if everyone else does, but I am not programmed to do so automatically and I don't do it at home.


  1. I stand for it at ANZAC Day and Rememberance Day ceremonies... and I used to stand for it at the footy when I went along with my Mum.
    I think we all get the involuntary twitches in the legs when we hear it.. such is the drilling into us from a young age at school.

  2. I get more goosebumps from 'I still call Australia home'!! Although it's an absentee's lament, it's still my vote for OZ national anthem!!

  3. Forgive my pedantry but I think that Bob Hawke would have been dreaming if he complained at hearing 'God Save the Queen' played as Australia's national anthem at the Montreal Olympics.

    Australia failed to win a Gold Medal at those Olympics and therefore 'our' anthem was never played in medal ceremonies that year.

    But I get the point.

  4. We were indoctrinated Cazzie.

    Red, I don't want it for an anthem, but it gives me goosebumps too.

    Victor, I thought as I was writing that, well he wouldn't have heard it too often at Montreal. But not at all! I guess the Silver Bodgie thought about it in advance.